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At the time of writing before the final weekend of the Liga MX regular season, both Pumas and Club America are in very different positions.
America have already booked their place in the playoffs, and as for Pumas, there is a very small chance that they could earn a spot within the top 12 that go through into the next round. In fact, by the time the game kicks off on Sunday, odds are, Pumas will officially be out of the running.
And yet, this could end up in a tie. Regardless of the fact that it’s going to be a high-profile Clasico Capitalino, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if America field some backups and if Pumas rely once again on their goalkeeper to keep things level.
That’ll be close.
The tie for Pumas vs America (+200)
|Pumas vs Club America Information|
|What||Pumas vs Club America|
|Where||Estadio Olimpico Universitario (Mexico City, Mexico)|
|When||Sunday, May 2nd at 10:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||TUDN|
During any other week of the season, this rivalry match would likely be a thrilling affair between two of the most powerful and prominent clubs in Mexican soccer. Whenever Pumas and America take center stage, a massive amount of fans tune in and stay glued to their screens in the hopes of catching another memorable moment from the storied rivalry.
That’s not exactly the mood for this weekend’s edition. While America have already done their homework and booked their spot in the playoffs, Pumas will be stumbling over themselves with only four wins and the fewest amount of goals scored in the league.
What should follow is a match with America giving many of their starters a break and Pumas once again struggling to find the back of the net. Barring a highly unexpected chance that Pumas are still in the playoff race by time of kickoff, expect both sides to not have much motivation to overexert themselves either.
The only reason why Pumas are somehow in the playoff conversation is because of their backline and starting goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
Their attack is statistically the worst in the league, but as for their defense, they’ve been able to hold off plenty of teams by only allowing 11 goals in 16 games.
Although it’s not exactly thrilling to look at their endless list of low-scoring draws and losses, it remains impressive to see how often Pumas are able to stifle some of the top forwards in the league.
After already earning an invitation to the playoffs, it would make sense for manager Santiago Solari to field some backups this weekend. America’s place in 2nd will be held no matter what happens in the final Liga MX regular season results, and looking ahead to next week, they also have a massive Concacaf Champions League match against the Portland Timbers.
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the quarterfinal series, the obvious priority for Solari should be next week’s 2nd leg that will define whether America will be in the semifinal round or not in the international competition.
Expect plenty of roster changes this Sunday.
Sadly, even if they go up against a team composed of backups, Pumas may not be able to compensate for many of their attacking problems.
They have one goal in their last three games, they’re scoreless in their last two, and when looking at the entirety of the season so far, every other team in the league has found the back of the net more often than Pumas.
Their defense will keep it close, but there are no guarantees or signs that their attack will be able to help them claim a victory in the final weekend of the regular season.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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